Wal-Mart Security Kills Man

Saw this sad story (from Daily Kos) regarding wal-mart security in Texas. It seems security alleged this man was shoplifting and chased him in the parking lot, tackled and handcuffed him and then held him face down on searing hot pavement. As bystanders pleaded security to let up, the man died of a heart attack.

11 Comments

  1. Posted August 26, 2005 at 5:38 am | Permalink

    I have trained people in retail loss prevention & worked in that area for 3 major retailers several years ago. I agree the guy face down was miss-treated and WalMart, at some point, is going to pay bigtime for their agent’s errors.
    Policy for loss protection has changed / evolved over the years, since I worked in the field. Years ago we would actually jump in a company car and “hunt down” a shoplifter,…etc,…whatever it took to make the apprehension, and if the would be shoplifter got rid of his take, well let’s just say that we were all “trained” to be sure a crime was documented and follow through with the arrest and court appearance,…even if it meant lying,…which is no different then what police officers all across the country do today. It was just SOP, standard operating procedure…
    But those days are long gone for 95% of today’s retailers,…I could write a book on what I’ve seen,…trust me I’ve seen it all!
    Back around 83 I observed 2 women fill a shopping bag with designer sheets at a store owned by The May Company. I was behind them on the down escalator when my hidden radio made a noise,…letting them both know I was on to them. When they got to the bottom, they split up and took off running in different directions. I ran after the woman with the filled bag of bedding. She ran about 1000 yards before I finally caught up to her exiting a Wards store as her accomplice pulled up in their vehicle by the exit door,…she opened the back door to the station wagon and the woman I was chasing tossed the bag of stolen sheets into the back seat. I dove in after it and she basically floored it and drove over both my legs in the process. I was in the hospital for 2 months. To make a long story short,… both women filed a law suit against myself, Hecht Company, (my employer), another store detective who worked under me, and a door sentry (uniformed deterrent agent) who worked for Montgomery Wards, (both of which assisted in the arrest),…for 5 million dollars, claiming they were both so upset about the “incident” they had to seek therapy to help them to have sex with their spouses. The claim was ludicrous at best. But after 2 years, and 5 “phone book” size transcripts of interrogatories later, May’s insurance opted to settle the case for $55,000 ($50K to the woman who ran me over, another $5K to her sister who was the getaway car driver) who we never took into custody.
    After that I decided it was time for me to make my living training store security personnel full-time instead of working it myself.

    Today, I see all the changes which have occurred over the years. Given that,…it’s hard for me to believe that Wal-Mart knowingly condoned such behavior. Last I checked, their policy was to not peruse a shoplifter beyond 10 feet past the last set of doors. Lowe’s (as another example) has a policy that states under no circumstances can any employee call 9-11 unless instructed to by a manager. I do get upset when I see the Wal-Mart “Dinosaur Patrol” blocking shoppers forward movement when the proximity alarm is triggered. Many states would deem such practice as a detainment and therefore an arrest. I’m pretty sure that has not changed,….but like I said, I have been out of the business for many years and policy evolves… BJ’s “Shopping Club” is another example of a lawsuit waiting to happen. Rather then spend the money for electronic surveillance, they place dummy tinted camera balls in strategic locations and rely on the uniformed receipt-checking deterrent. It’s a disgrace as far as my opinion. When I use to shop at BJ’s, I would cause a flurry of activity when I would walk past the door sentry refusing to allow them to check my receipt. I’ve had them walk up to my car, block my forward movement, etc. I’m waiting for the day one of these poorly trained security guards actually puts there hand on me. I will be sure there are plenty of witnesses watching and it will get real ugly real quick…
    So I too can sue and get $$$$$$, LOL! It’s just the old school training I received from some of the top loss prevention experts in the country that makes me so arrogant. I do not want my kids to grow up and live in a world where you must produce proof that you are not a criminal. That’s essentially what Wal-Mart and BJ’s are doing when they block someone from leaving their store due to failure to allow a search of their bags and viewing of their receipt. I mean (correct me if I’m wrong), but I was taught that when you pay for merchandise and receive a register receipt,…that register receipt is your property and you can do what ever you want with it, You can tear it off when it’s stapled to a bag, put it in your wallet,…or eat it if so desired. I say to any honest person who gets stopped due to a inventory control alarm sounding off,…just keep on walking. You know you are not a criminal and you should not have to stop and prove that fact to anyone! Those systems can trip for any number of reasons,… tag not magnetically disarmed at checkout,… heart pacemaker,…even spurious radio emissions can fool the sensors. Wal-Mart has another policy that disturbs me. Some states allow the plaintiff in a shoplifting case to recover up to 10 times the retail value of the stolen goods. Rather then prosecute the many iffy/weak cases,….Wal-Mart will often let the would be shoplifter go after signing a confession. They will say “sign the confession or we will call the police to take you to jail”,…sign the confession, (release,…etc) and you walk… Then they send out a certified letter demanding 10 times the money of the goods recovered! That, my friend,…has all the earmarks of EXTORTION! OK enough ranting for now. Let’s hear some responses to my ranting!

  2. Posted August 31, 2005 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    Brain1, Thanks for the amazing post, which really brings to light the problems of secruity in stores. If you have time could you send me an email? I’d love to talk more with you regarding a new project I’m working on.
    Best,
    -Brian

  3. Mrrepair2002@gmail.com
    Posted January 2, 2006 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

    what can you legally do if a reciept checker touches you and or rips the reciept out of your hand? EVERYONE needs to start avoiding these Nazis at the exit to let them know we will not stand for it!!

  4. Anonymous
    Posted February 12, 2007 at 12:12 am | Permalink

    Only 3 weeks ago I hear that a new law had been passed for wal-mart stating that no door-person was allowed to actually ‘stop’ you at the doors even if the alarm went off, that the only way they could check your reciept is if you stop and willingly give it to them (they were not permitted to ask). However, last week I bought a new computer from there and while walking toward the door, the door-lady approached me like some kind of hound sniffing out my reciept. When I couldn’t find it right away (I have a very messy purse) she even went as far as to ask me which register I went through so she could ask the cashier if I bought it before taking it out of the doors. Should this be allowed?

  5. Posted February 12, 2007 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    Unfortunately it’s not up to us whether or not it’s allowed to check receipts. The stores are simply looking after their merchandise and that is their main concern. The only thing a consumer can do is not buy from a particular store and if you’re up for it tell them why.
    They make the rules and you have to abide by them if you want to get ‘Rollbacks’, rock-bottom pricing or 4 gallons of pickles for 1.99.

  6. Posted September 21, 2007 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    the door greeters are doing their job at wal-mart. They are allowed to ask…at no point are they NOT allowed to ASK for a receipt. You are allowed to not show it but by no means is it a law that they can’t ask. As for BJ’s…you should read up on your membership. It is a require ment for you to show your receipt. You pay for membership and it is a private store. You give up your right to not show your receipt when signing up for BJ’s or Cosco…you should read up on that a bit more

  7. Walmart Rent-a-Cop
    Posted January 6, 2008 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

    I work as a uniformed security officer at Walmart, I am part of a contract company that recently opened it’s doors to Walmart. Up until recently we had refused to do business with Walmart because they refused to pay our officers a decent wage. Since they had gone through all of the security companies in the area and the police department as well, we were the last company left and we pretty much stuck it to them.

    1. No door greeter or unarmed security personel can touch you or stand in front of you at all.

    2. If someone in a Walmart store accuses you of stealing they have to watch you remove an item from the shelf, hide it, and attempt to exit. My orders on this site require me to follow the subject, radio management with changes of position, and notify them when the subject is nearing an exit. If a subject exits and is not caught, I will simply follow him/her to his/her vehicle, take down a license plate and description, grab my groin, spit, and wave bye bye. The next step would be to hand the info over to the co. manager on duty and then go back to babysitting unsupervised minors who loiter in the store for hours upon hours.

    3. Walmart’s new policy is to press charges only if the subject is between 18 and 65 and they have to steal at least $25 worth of products. Everyone else is simply banned and I must spend a large amount of time explaining to them the very next day that they are in fact stupid for returning as I walk them out.

    Lastly, I am the target of a vast amount of abuse within the store. I follow subjects at a 25 foot distance and remain silent through verbal abuse and physical threats. I will then call the manager who asked for security assistance to deal with the upset thief. There is so much that I could write on this subject it makes my mind numb, I don’t want to hear “well I heard that…” and “I used to do this and that” and “Walmart asked for my reciept I feel so humiliated…” I have ACTUAL facts.

  8. Anonymous
    Posted February 29, 2008 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

    I shop Walmart for their easy return policy. Last week, I bought a $1500 TV from Walmart. I got home with it to find it to big for my bookcase. I returned it the next day for a cash refund. The return clerk asked for return reason, I said, “I don’t need”, she said, “OK”, and we are done. If I would’ve been harrassed, I’d have got the manager to explain how the electronic clerk’s non-attention to detail such as size didn’t help matters. Walmart ask for a receipt, fine, I will show it. I don’t have a problem showing one. I don’t steal. Besides, the manager knows me.

    Recently, I was stopped exiting the store by the greeter and 2 personnel. Showed my reciept upon request. Fine, but where’s your receipt for the Mounds Bar and the other one in your coat pocket. The clerk said you put that in your pocket you asshole! I laughed at them, and they laughed back. Fine, call the manager.

    The manager appeared and asked, “Did you see him pocket the candy at the checkstand?” The employee said yes.

    I bought the Mounds an hour earlier at Albertsons. I’m a multi millionaire farm owner. My dad is the Walmart store manager.

  9. Posted May 12, 2008 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    Check out jewel-osco security guard gone wild on youtube Video #4 and video #7. I was attacked by Jewel-Osco Security Guard for questioning the customer services. South Loop Jewel-Osco/Supervalu/Albertson
    1224 South Wabash Chicago, Illinois 60616
    I was slammed to the floor and the security guards said I dropped to the floor on my own. The video clearly shows I was slammed.

  10. Posted June 7, 2008 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

    I was arrested for Trespassing on 3/19 and 6 weeks later charged with battery and disorderly conduct. The stories of the Security Guard from Jewel Foods and Monterrey Security guards was totally different from what they wrote in their incident report, the Chicago Police Report was different, their written statements were different and on 5/16/2009 their testimony in court was totally different from all the evidence. I was found not Guilty of Trespassing, Battery and Disorderly Conduct.
    This entire incident started because I questioned the customer service of Jewel Foods and I was denied a manager by the Jewel Foods Security Guard. When the Guard denied me a manager he smiled as if it was a joke. I told the security guard, “What do I have to do? Do I have to go down the street and get some of my rich white friends and come back so you can open up the self check out line? That comment made the Jewel Security Guard mad and he followed me to the grocery line and blocked me in, knocked my orange juice out of my hands, grabbed me by the arms and pushed me out of the line. I was pushed to register #3 where I was picked up and slammed to the concrete floor where I yelled for help because I was in pain. I was dragged from register #3 to Register #10 by a Jewel Food Security Guard by one handcuff which cut into my skin and I was dragged by a Monterrey Security Guard by the other arm. I was yelling because I was in pain because of the slam to the floor and the handcuff cutting into my skin while I was being dragged. The security guards were trying to pull me into the Loss Prevention Office which the customer did not allow that to happen because they witnessed the security guard touching me for no reason.
    A customer called 911 and once the Chicago Police arrived the customers were trying to explain to them what happen but refused to listen. The customer who called 911 tried to explain to the Chicago Police Officer he called 911 and the officer choose not to listen. In the Chicago Police Report it states, The Reporting Officer Was responding to a battery: The customer who called said, “They are beating this guy up in front of Jewel.” I’m wondering why did the Chicago Police refused to take a statement from the customer? Did the Chicago Police look at the video evidence?
    I went to court on 4/30 to fight the Charges of Criminal Trespassing and the Jewel Foods filed an additional charge of Battery and Disorderly Conduct.
    3/19 Criminal Trespassing to Land: “KNOWINGLY REMAINED UPON THE LAND OF JEWEL FOODS LOCATED AT 1224 S. WABASH AFTERRECIEVING NOTICE FROM OWNER/OCCUPANT.AGENT TO DEPART.”
    4/30 Battery: The Security Guard signed a complaint in Court claiming Battery. “Intentionally or knowingly without legal justification made contact of an insulting or provoking nature with the complainant in that the defendant swung fist at complaint hitting complainant in the arm.”
    4/30 Disorderly Conduct: The Cashier signed a complaint in Court claiming Disorderly Conduct. Knowingly acted in such an unreasonable manner as to disturb another and to provoke a breach of the peach in that the defendant was screaming and yelling which prevented the complainant from performing her duties as a cashier for Jewel.
    Go to Youtube and type in “Jewel-Osco Security Guard Gone Wild”
    Video #1 and 2 will show the Security Guard following me to the grocery line.
    Video # 3 will show the Security Guard grabbing me and pushing me out of the Grocery Line.
    Video # 4 will show the Security Guard lifting me up from behind and slamming me to the floor.
    Video # 4, #5 and #6 will show I was dragged by the security guards.
    Video # 7 will show I was dragged and jerked by the handcuff and arrested by the Chicago Police Officers.
    The Trespassing Charges
    The security guard told the judge he told me in the Grocery Line that if I could not keep quiet he would have to tell me to leave. The Judge asked the Security Guard, “So you gave the defendant a condition?” The security guard said, “Yes.”
    1st My attorney asked the security guard to read the Trespassing Warning in court and when he read the warning he did not know what time it was given to me. There’s two different times on the warning.. 1st It states it was given to me at 1:15am and 2nd It states it was given to me at 1:25am. There was no way I received any Trespassing warning because at 1:15am I was grabbed and pushed out of the line and slammed to the floor at. Then I was dragged from register 3 to 10 by one handcuff.
    2nd The trespassing warning also state, “The above named person was advised that if he/she returns to said premises that he/she would be in violation of this Trespass Warning and be subject to arrest.” In order for the Trespassing Warning to be valid I had to leave and come back onto the Premises I was band from.
    3rd My attorney asked the security guard the following question to show I was illegally detain with warning.
    A: Where was my client standing? The security guard replied in line.
    B: What was on my Client left side? The security guard replied, a pop machine and a candy rack.
    C: What was on my Client Right side? The security guard said the self-check out line.
    D: Who was standing behind my Client? The security guard said he was.
    F: My attorney said, “If my client wanted leave out of the store would he go in the direction you were standing which is behind my client or would he go in the direction the customer were facing. Better yet, would it be easier to say the only Exits would be in the front of the store and not the back? The security guard said the only Exit would be the front of the store?
    My attorney said, if you were blocking his rear, the pop machine and the candy rack is blocking his left, the self-check out line was blocking his right and the 10 to 15 customers in front of my client was blocking his front which prevented him from Exiting the Store, please explain to the courts if you gave my client a trespassing warning to leave, how was he going to leave if he was blocked in? The security guard could not answer.
    4th The security guard said they gave the Trespassing Warning to the Chicago Police after I was arrested and assumed they gave it to me.
    5th In Jewel and Monterrey Security they lied about the security guard was telling me to leave several times and that never occurred.
    6th The Security Guard from Monterrey Security was asked why did he sign his name on the Trespassing Warning as a witness? He said I was in the parking lot and I did not know what was going on?
    The charges were dropped because it showed he blocked me in, he had no reason to stop follow me to the grocery line which he told the judge he did not follow me, the times were wrong and in order for the trespassing warning to be valid he would have to word it correctly, give it to me directly and time must match.
    Battery Charges:
    1: The Video Evidence shows I never swung at anyone.
    2: The Judge looked at the Video Evidence and said, “It clearly shows the security guard grabbed the defendant and there is not proof of the defendant swinging according the the video evidence.”
    3: The Security Guard from Monterrey Security wrote in his statement, “At this point the man dropped to the ground of his own will and started to scream.”
    4. In court the Security Guard told the Judge he could not remember because it’s been so long but later said, “1st it look like he dropped to the ground on his own. 2nd it look like Christopher Mendoza laid him on the ground and 3rd I did not have a clear view.”
    5. The video evidence shows I was slammed to the floor by Jewel Loss Prevention and Monterrey Security Guard was standing directly in front of me.
    On May 16, 2008 Christopher Mendoza told the Judge that I swung at him with a bag of Pistachios Nuts and when he blocked my swing with his arm and the Pistachios Nuts when everywhere on the floor. The Monterrey Security Guard support the story also.
    March 19, 2007 Christopher Mendoza wrote in his Loss Prev
    ention Incident Report, “He Gestured as if he was going to strike me, I blocked his arem and tried to handcuff the subject. Kerry Kielbon (Monterrey Security) assisted me.”
    March 19, 2007 Christopher Mendoza told the Chicago Police, “At this time subject was asked to leave premise, subject refused stating he would make a scene if security touched him subject was asked again to leave and refused, at this point security attempted to place subject into customdy, scuffle ensued while handcuffs were being placed on offender.”
    April 30, 2007 Christopher Mendoza filed a complaint in court stating, “Intentionally or knowingly without legal justification made contact of an insulting or provoking nature with the Complainant in that: The defendant swung fist at complainant hitting complainant in the arm.
    May 16, 2008 Christopher Mendoza told the judge I swung toward his face with a bag of Pistachios and he blocked the swing with his arm which made the bag of Pistachios fall on the floor.
    My attorney asked where did the allege swing take place and the security guard was not able to give that information. My attorney asked did this take place after you tried to arrest my client or before you tried to arrest my client? The Security Guard from Jewel Foods said, “It took place before I tried to arrest him.” So my attorney said we should be able to see Pistachios Nuts everywhere on the floor, Correct? The Jewel Food Security Guard agreed?
    We showed the Video Evidence from Line #1 Which show no punches were thrown and it clearly showed he grabbed me and pushed me out of the line. We paused the video which showed I had Pistachios in my hand and we showed the floor area where Pistachios show have been and there were not Pistachios on the floor because I had the bag in my hand. We showed Video Evidence from Line #3 which show the Jewel Foods Security Guard picking me up from behind which holding my arms in the air. We pause the video and it showed I had Pistachios in my hands and there were not Pistachios on the floor. We were about to show more of the video and the Judge said, “That’s Enough.” I’m sure she was in disbelief of what happen and the video showed they were lying..
    The judge looked at the video and said, It clearly shows the security guard grabbing the defending and pushing him out of the line. There is no proof showing the defendant swing at anyone and there are no Pistachios on the floor.
    The Jewel Security guard was asked if I was handcuff and he replied, “No”. The video evidence showed the security guard dragging me from lane #3 to lane #4 and you see customers taking pictures with their phones because he was dragging and jerking me by the handcuff.
    Disorderly Conduct:
    The Jewel Food Cashier claimed my yelling for help and 911 stopped her from doing her job. The video evidence clearly show she never stop working and did not witnessed the incident.
    The cashier wrote the following statement on 4/3/2007: “I was the only line open and the line was long and customers were complaining about the line but there was no help I had no extra bodies to perform the job.”
    The cashier did not show up to court on April 1, 2008 and on May 16, 2008 my attorney asked to have the disorderly charge dropped but a Manager in the Loss Prevention Department said Linda Williams passed away. The Judge allowed the Disorderly Conduct to stay because the Loss Prevention Manager stood in her place. The charges were later dismissed because there was no proof of Disorderly Conduct I did not need to show any video evidence to prove my innocence.
    Jewel Foods and Monterrey Security tried to intimidate me not to come to court and I was harassed for about 8 months. I was also told by the Loss Prevention Manager if I sign a letter no to file Civil Suit they would drop the charges. The Loss Prevention Manager also stated, ” Beside, I’m 22 and Zero when I come to court.” I told him the charges are weak and false and I’m going to fight this in court.
    On May 16, 2008 I was offered a plea of 3 months supervision from Jewel Food Loss Prevention. I was also offered to plea no Contest and to stay out of Jewel. I told my attorney no because I did not do anything wrong and I would rather fight this in court.
    On May 16, 2008 I was found Not Guilty of all the charges filed against me.
    I was found not Guilty of Criminal Trespassing to Land
    I was found not Guilty of Disorderly Conduct
    I was found not Guilty of Battery
    The Court Transcript will show the Security Guards lied from day 1 and 95% of their statement was conflicting.

  11. Posted January 9, 2009 at 12:35 am | Permalink

    I was just cited in for “harassment” and “giving false info to an officer,” at a Wal-mart Supercenter.

    I don’t shop Wal-mart because of their economic, environmental, and other policies. However, on the day in question, I was at Target, and as Wally world was across the street, I decided to see if they had what I was looking for.

    Wal-mart didn’t have what I was looking for, so I left. As I was leaving, someone started shouting “Miss! Miss! Miss!” I had already dealt with the Jehovah Witnesses, and newspaper hawkers, and as there were about 20 or more people (half of whom were women), and I knew I didn’t know anybody in the store, nor had I done anything wrong. I ignored the calls.

    I made it out to the parking lot, and was on my way to the bus stop. I was about half way across the parking lot, and I was grabbed from behind by a Wal-mart manager. He told me I was going to be trespassed from the store because I had done something rude.

    I told him to leave me the f alone. And, to let go of my jacket.

    At that point, he told me that he was going to take me down. And, he did. He forced me to the ground screaming and shouting at me, and would not answer me when I asked what was going on.

    He tried to force me to my feet, but I opted to go limp. When I did that he screamed at me, then called “Cindy” on a walkie talkie or some sort of device and said he needed some handcuffs!!! WHAT???

    So, Cindy came out, and kneed me in the back, and handcuff me. I was cursing in a variety of languages, and asking them what the f they were doing or what I had supposedly done. Cindy thought that was very funny.

    So, I was dragged into Wal-mart and put in their little security office (if anyone wants details on these offices, I will gladly supply them). There was a girl in there who had shoplifted, and a very young girl was screaming at her and telling her how long she had been doing security at Wal-mart.

    I sat for over an hour with no explanation about why I was being held.

    At some point, our local brutality force showed up, talked to the shoplifter for hours. I asked for help balancing my backpack and if I could check my blood sugar (I’m a type I diabetic), and the cops helped me do both.

    The looney who chased me into the parking lot told the police during hour 2, that I was a former associate (I’ve never worked for Wal-mart), and that I had flipped him off. WHAT????

    I had never seen him, much less flipped him off. I gave the cops my name and SSN, and address, and all the things you pretty much have to give (I don’t have a driver’s license due to a seizure disorder, nor do I have a state ID, as I don’t see a use for one, I ride a bike or take the bus everywhere). I’ve never had contact with police except in my law practice.

    They couldn’t find me in their system. So. . .I was cited and released. I’m debating about suing the whole damn system, reporting the manager to Wal-mart’s internal security service, and challenging their ability to trespass people off their property who have committed no crime.

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